Revitalization grants approved for 15 projects in five communities
3 Mar 2023
Economic Development, Business, Community
Fifteen hometown projects that will bring nearly $4 million in main street improvements to Brainerd, Cold Spring, Little Falls, Long Prairie and St. Cloud, have been approved by the Initiative Foundation as part of the Minnesota Main Street Revitalization program.
Since the start of the project, the Initiative Foundation has approved 25 projects with investments totaling more than $14 million in Brainerd, Cold Spring, Little Falls, Long Prairie, Pine River and Brainerd.
The funding is supported by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), which allocated $4.5 million to the Initiative Foundation for Central Minnesota economic development opportunities. The Minnesota Main Street Revitalization Program provides for 30 percent matching grants and guaranteed loans for economic and redevelopment needs that have arisen since the March 2020 onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses must have or secure the remaining 70% of funding.
The Initiative Foundation worked with Brainerd, Cold Spring, Little Falls, Long Prairie, Pine River and St. Cloud to identify corridors that experienced COVID-19 impacts — from travel and tourism businesses to site improvement to upgrading commercial property vacancies. Funding can be used for demolition and site preparation, engineering and design, repair, renovation and construction. All projects must be completed within a 36-month window that will close in July 2025.
The most recent projects receiving funding have an estimated total investment of $3.9 million. These projects have submitted the necessary documentation to receive funding recommended by their local economic development authority and the Initiative Foundation:
Local grants awarded include:
• Little Falls — First Avenue Auto Repair, Inc., 109 First Ave. SE: A $32,740 grant for roof, ceiling and siding repair, painting, new heating and air conditioning and possible floor drain repair. Total project cost: $109,135.